UC San Diego News Center


Alumni and Community Engagement Announces 2015 Honorees

Recipients to be honored during UC San Diego Alumni Weekend, June 4-7

Nine distinguished members of the Triton Family will be recognized during UC San Diego’s annual Alumni Weekend, which kicks off June 4.

This year’s scroll of honorees includes a successful filmmaker, a school superintendent, an investment strategist, the founder of a next generation agriculture company, exciting YouTube sensations, executive director of a nonprofit for at-risk youth, and a notable sculptor.

The 2015 Alumni Celebration will mark the 37th year Alumni and Community Engagement has honored outstanding alumni and friends who exemplify a commitment to leadership, advocacy, philanthropy and service to UC San Diego. The awardees are selected by a committee made up of elected and former members of the UC San Diego Alumni Association’s governing board.

The following individuals will be recognized during the 2015 Alumni Celebration:

Distinguished Alumni

Mike Judge

Mike Judge, ’85, Physics
Mike Judge is an award-winning creator and producer of today’s most popular movies and television series, including King of the Hill, Beavis and Butt-head, Office Space, Idiocracy and Extract. The physicist turned animator, filmmaker and actor is now working on his latest television series, Silicon Valley, currently filming its second season for HBO.

Cindy Marten

Cindy Marten, M.A. ’95, Education Studies
Cindy Marten has shown a tremendous commitment to making a real impact in the San Diego educational community. She has served as an educator for 25 years—as a teacher, an instructional leader and a school principal. In July 2013, Marten was appointed superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District, the second largest school district in the state of California.

Ken Kroner

Ken Kroner, Ph.D. ’88, Economics
Ken Kroner is a global finance innovator, who serves as chief investment officer of Scientific Active Equity and global head of Multi-Asset Strategies at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager. In 2011, he and his wife, Jennifer, created the Kroner Family Endowed Fellowship with a gift to the Division of Social Sciences, allowing stellar students the opportunity to pursue research interests at UC San Diego. Kroner serves on the UC San Diego Foundation Board of Trustees and the Economics Leadership Council and has been a longtime supporter of many campus programs and initiatives.

Emerging Leaders

Philip Wang, Wesley Chan, Ted Fu

Philip Wang, ’06, Wesley Chan, ’06, and Ted Fu, ’06, Visual Arts
Together, Philip Wang, Wesley Chan and Ted Fu run Wong Fu Productions, a growing independent production company. Their well-known YouTube channel has more than 1 million subscribers and has garnered over 200 million views of short films, music videos and video blogs for its large and loyal fan base. Their creative work has been recognized for its striking quality and emotional depth, earning honors and praise from organizations like CNN, NPR, the Cannes Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival.

Pierre Sleiman

Pierre Sleiman, M.B.A. ’13, Rady School of Management
Pierre Sleiman is the founder and CEO of Go Green Agriculture, an innovative company that grows produce inside climate-controlled greenhouses using hydroponics. His company has more than 400 customers including Whole Foods, Sprouts, Jimbo's Naturally and Hyatt Hotels. In July 2014, Sleiman was honored as an Agriculture Champion of Change at the White House alongside other notable leaders who are doing extraordinary things to build the next generation of farming and ranching.

In addition, the third annual True Triton Awards will be presented during the True Triton Brunch on Sunday, June 7, at the conclusion of Alumni Weekend. The award recognizes UC San Diego graduates who embody the spirit of the university through their tireless dedication, passion and commitment to their alma mater through active service, leadership and advocacy.

The following alumni will be recognized at the brunch:

True Tritons

Chris Yanov

Chris Yanov, ’99, Literature
Chris Yanov is the founder of Reality Changers, a San Diego-based program providing youth from disadvantaged backgrounds with the academic support, financial assistance and leadership training to become first-generation college students. Yanov was selected as an inaugural leader of the San Diego Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention and also served as the chair of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Education and Workforce Development Committee.

Manuelita Brown

Manuelita Brown, M.S. ’76, Psychology
Manuelita Brown serves as the director of UC San Diego’s Honor Achievement Workshops and is an active member of UCSD Alumni’s Black Alumni Council and the UCSD Alumni Board of Directors. Since 2003, she has chaired the Black Alumni Scholarship Fund Committee and served as liaison between the UC San Diego Foundation, its scholarship office and the San Diego Foundation. A notable sculptor, Brown’s latest work, a bronze statue of Sojourner Truth, recognizes Truth's deep humanity, commitment to education and pursuit of equal rights.

The annual Alumni Celebration will be hosted on Saturday, June 6, during Alumni Weekend, June 4-7. The celebration, including the True Triton Brunch, is open to the public, with proceeds benefiting student scholarships at UC San Diego. For award recipient and event details, please visit or call (858) 534-3900. Information about Alumni Weekend can be accessed at